An Albuquerque couple is speaking out after their baby died while in CYFD custody this week. It’s the same couple accused of burying their drowned 1-year-old daughter in a shallow grave.
“They failed us, big time,” says Mateo Duran, speaking on behalf of his niece Monique Romero, who is the mother of the child.
Romero and David Zuber were joined by family and attorneys Saturday afternoon.
“We really wanted to come out and just let you know our story because there’s a lot of stipulations and all kinds of accusations,” said Duran.
This week, Albuquerque Police say Romero and Zuber’s 6-month-old son was found unresponsive while in a CYFD foster home, and later died.
The family claims in the days leading up to the boy’s death, they sent multiple complaints to CYFD about the foster family.
“There were times where there were some marks on the baby, or they would have a diaper rash,” says Duran.
Zuber was clearly distraught as her uncle said the boy’s death could’ve been prevented had CYFD allowed the couple’s own family to foster the infant.
“We feel discriminated and we feel judged and we understand the circumstance. We’re not negligent of the circumstances of what’s gone on here,” says Duran.
Back in December, APD says the couple buried their 1-year-old, Anastazia Zuber, in a home’s backyard near Eubank and Menaul after she drowned in a bathtub.
The family did not mention Anastazia by name Saturday but acknowledged the case.
“We’ve had some unfortunate things that have happened. We take full responsibility and accountability for that, but you know, we’re good people that take care of our children,” said Duran.
KRQE News 13 tried to ask the family what responsibility they believe they bear for the deaths of both children but we were rejected.
Off-camera, the family’s attorney agreed to answer our questions and says the couple feels responsible and they’re getting help to cope.
The press conference, called by the family, ended with Duran saying, “For the media, we want our privacy. Give us time to heal and just back off.”
The family would not provide KRQE News 13 with copies of the written complaints they claim they sent to CYFD but said the complaints included that the baby had marks and rashes along with poor hygiene.
In a statement to KRQE News 13, a Governor’s spokesperson says CYFD continues to investigate this case and is committed to a child’s well being. They also say the foster family involved appreciates the support from CYFD.